There’s no denying that SEO is an ever-changing industry. Strategies that worked years ago are often not as effective as they were back then – with the exception of a few. A perfect example would be high-quality content. There’s a reason why people say that ‘content is king.’
This raises questions – What about backlinks? Are they still important for SEO in 2021?
The simple answer is yes. They are still important. However, why is that the case? What makes them an essential part of every business’s SEO strategy? That’s what we will be discussing in this article. So, if you want to find out where the importance of backlinks comes from, keep on reading.
What Are Backlinks?
First things first – let’s establish what backlinks are. To put it in the simplest terms, backlinks are links from one website to another. If you link to someone’s website in your article, they have a backlink from you. If someone links to your website in their content, you have a backlink from them.
Why Are Backlinks Still Important in 2021
Backlinks were, are, and probably will continue to be crucial for SEO. There are plenty of reasons as to why, and we have listed some of them below.
Increased Organic Traffic
Whenever someone is visiting the website that you got a backlink from, they might also visit yours by clicking on the hyperlink in the article. As it can be read in Backlinks: The Ultimate Guide, “This not only increases the referral traffic to your website, but it also helps diversify that traffic and prevent you from being overtly and completely reliant on social media and search engines.”
Besides, it also increases the quality of your traffic. If someone is reading an article that has been published on a website relevant to yours, then they are most likely interested in the topic and would like to know more information about the subject.
By adding links to your other articles at the end of the page, you can make the visitors curious about the other parts of your website. The more pages the user visits and the more time they spend on your website, the more likely it is that your website will be in a higher position in the search results.
Higher Rankings in SERPs
For many businesses, ranking on the first page of Google or other search engines is the most important goal when doing SEO. However, it can be hard to achieve without having authority, which is something that you can gain through backlinks.
Having backlinks from high-quality websites will make Google see you as an authority – someone who has credible content that will be a great and valuable source of information for anyone looking up that specific topic. And once that happens, the search engine will start ranking your pages higher in the search results.
Additionally, Google uses ‘authority’ as one of the metrics to evaluate the quality of your website. So, if you have relevant and high-quality links, you’ll make it easier for Google to categorize and rank your site.
New Pages Discovered by Google
Google’s web crawler, also known as Googlebot, uses links to discover new pages on the Internet. It’s one of the most important ways in which new content is found, crawled, and indexed. If you have links from reliable, quality sources, your content has a chance of being indexed by Google faster than it would without any links – this also means that it can rank faster.
Are All Backlinks Equal?
The answer is no – there are good backlinks and bad backlinks. Here are some of the things that make a quality backlink.
Relevance – Google cares more about backlinks that are relevant to your website, simply because people are more likely to click on them. If your website is about cars, and you have two backlinks – one from an automotive website and one from a travel website, the former is going to be more valuable.
Authority – in most cases (but not always), backlinks coming from strong pages transfer more authority than backlinks coming from weak ones.
Placement – people are more likely to click on links that are actually visible and stand out on the page – for instance, if the link has a different color and font than the rest of the text, it has a higher chance of being clicked than if it was placed in the footer of the page or in the sidebar.
Quality of the website – sometimes, you might encounter a website that is trying to pose as a quality website. They use several methods to appear this way – fake feedback, ratings, and so on. However, they cannot fake organic search or organic keyword traffic. Before deciding on getting a backlink from a website, check the domain – see if they’re ranking well for several keywords.
The Bottom Line
SEO is an ever-changing industry, and every person who works in it knows it. Methods that would get you on the first page of Google or other search engines 10 years are in most cases not relevant anymore and could even result in a penalty. However, there are some that passed the test of time and are still as useful as they were back in the day.
One of those is link building, also known as acquiring backlinks. It’s partially thanks to them that Google is able to consider your content as valuable and of interest to those who want to learn more about the subject area you specialize in, and in turn, place you in a higher position in the search results. However, you have to remember that not all backlinks are created equal, and in most cases, using the ‘quality over quantity’ approach is the best way to go.
All in all, we hope that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of why link building is still crucial in 2021. So, if you will ever be creating an SEO strategy, keep that in mind. Good luck!